Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
One of the major decisions taken at Thursday’s National Executive Committee, NEC of All Progressives Congress, APC presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari was that all members should withdraw the cases that they have filed against the party in court.
But contrary to this directive, two factions of the party in Rivers State are still continuing their legal battle.
In the continuation of the battle for the control of the structure of the party in Rivers, a Port Harcourt High Court presided by Justice George Omereji has ordered leaders of the faction of the party loyal to Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation to appear before him to defend contempt charges filed against them by the faction loyal by Senator Magnus Abe.
Those summoned by the court were former Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, Senator Andrew Uchendu and factional Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Hon. Sokonte Davies.
Both men are the leaders of the Amaechi faction of Rivers APC.
The summon is sequel to an ex-parte motion brought before the court by Hon. Igo Aguma through his counsel, E.S. Aluzu challenging the suspension and sacking of the Aguma-led Caretaker Committee of the APC in Rivers State.
Aguma, a loyalist of Senator Magnus Abe was recognised as the caretaker chairman of Rivers APC by the dissolved National Working Committee, NWC of the party based on a court order.
But the Amaechi faction had sacked him and appointed Davies as the chairman of the caretaker committee of the party.
Aluzu declared the action as a contempt of court, having no regard to the court ruling which declared Aguma as Caretaker Chairman of the APC in the state.
The counsel had told the court that she had filed a 12-paragraph affidavit with exhibits marked as Exhibit A and a written address which she adopted as her legal argument in support of the application.
Justice George Omereji said the relief to serve the alleged contemnors is in accordance with the constitutional right of fair hearing.
“The application is to afford the parties sought to be served the opportunity to come before this Honourable Court to defend the allegation against them.
“The Claimants/Applicants in my humble opinion, have presented facts sufficient enough to enable this Honourable Court to exercise its discretion in favour of the application”, the judge said, while granting the reliefs sought in the motion paper.
The presiding judge further ordered that the ruling be attached to the processes to be served on the alleged contemnors.
The alleged contemnors, Hon. Andrew Uchendu and Hon. Sokonte Davies are expected to appear in court on the adjourned date, Tuesday, July 7, 2020 to defend the allegation